Cricket players suspended over match-fixing allegations
Published 03/09/2010 | 05:00
The three Pakistan cricketers at the centre of match-fixing allegations were suspended from playing cricket last night.
The move came after they were charged under the anti-corruption code of the sport's governing body.
The announcement by the International Cricket Council (ICC) came as Pakistan test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer prepared to be questioned today by detectives from Scotland Yard.
The three insist they are innocent but they were charged under the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code relating to alleged irregular behaviour during, and in relation to, the fourth Test between England and Pakistan last month.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "We will not tolerate corruption in cricket -- simple as that.
"We must be decisive with such matters, and, if proven, these offences carry serious penalties up to a life ban.
"While we believe the problem is not widespread, we must always be vigilant."
The charges mean the sportsmen are "immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded".
Wajid Hasan, the Pakistani High Commissioner in London, said he believed the trio played no part in an alleged plot to bowl no-balls to order during Pakistan's defeat at Lord's.
Asked if he thought the three were "set up", Mr Hasan said: "Yes, I would say that."
The 'News of the World' dismissed the High Commissioner's claims as "ludicrous", adding: "Watch this space."
It is understood the paper is planning to publish further revelations this weekend.